The PSC, Mr Rattigan, the Diaspora, and the US Gov’t
A lot has been said about the Police Service Commission's (PSC's) decision not to shortlist Mr Wilfred Rattigan in Jamaica's search for a new police commissioner.
Members of the Diaspora are incensed that the PSC could so "disrespect" Mr Rattigan, a Jamaican who now heads the Federal Bureau of Investigation's (FBI's) Africa, Asia and Middle East Operations Unit in Washington, DC.
Mr Rattigan, after all, is well qualified, holding a degree in criminology and a doctorate in law.
He also told this newspaper that he has served the FBI's Counterterrorism Division in a leading role, and that he has performed various roles in law enforcement worldwide.
It appears, though, the Mr Rattigan's supporters are overlooking the fact that he has had a stormy relationship with the FBI, which resulted in him suing the American Government.
Essentially, Mr Rattigan -- who converted to Islam in December 2001 -- accused the FBI of harassing and demoting him because of his race and religion.
In his suit he said that, after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the US, requests for additional assistance made by his office in Riyah, Saudi Arabia, were denied, while the opposite obtained for other offices headed by white employees.
He won that case, and in 2010 received a settlement in a federal lawsuit he had filed against the Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority in New York over what was described as a gun-pointing stand-off with a toll booth agent.
At the end of that case, the toll booth agent was fired and his supervisor was disciplined by the authorities.
While we make no claim to knowing what influenced the PSC's decision, it is not inconceivable that Mr Rattigan's history with the US Government — which gives significant amounts of aid to Jamaica, especially in the area of law enforcement — would have come up in due diligence checks.
And Mr Rattigan, we fear, may not have done himself any favours with his public pronouncements on the PSC's decision. For individuals who occupy the sensitive post of police commissioner are required to be discreet on many issues, including those that affect them personally.
The angered members of the Diaspora should also bear in mind that the Jamaican police commissioner will need to work closely with his or her counterparts in the USA, as well as with the American Government.
And, while we do not doubt that Mr Rattigan has the skills to mend fences, it would, we suspect, have taken him some time to accomplish, given his relationship with the FBI.
Maybe, though, the Jamaican Government could look at other areas where Mr Rattigan's qualifications could be of benefit to the country.
We are, however, encouraged by the interest qualified Jamaicans have taken in the very unforgiving position of Jamaica's commissioner of police.
We also urge the PSC to act quickly and appoint a commissioner of police as the Jamaica Constabulary Force cannot continue without a leader.